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Chicago Friends School

Private | PK-2

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Living in Chicago

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $165,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $850.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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5 stars

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11 reviews of this school

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Posted August 17, 2014

We have been incredibly happy with our choice for our child to attend this school in the Fall. Everyone we have met is committed to the children blossoming and learning at their pace. Both Quaker and non-quaker families will feel comfortable here. The weekly community garden picnics have made it easier for parents and kids to feel part of the community from day 1. Looking forward to a successful school year with small integrated classrooms with mixed ages split K-1 and 2-3. With Friends schools being so popular in the East coast- it's exciting to be part of the first one in the Midwest.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 28, 2014

We could not imagine a better school for our son than Chicago Friends School. The teachers have been supportive and flexible as they have helped us understand our son's strength and challenges, have engaged collaboratively with outside professionals who work with our son, and have offered creative solutions to help him overcome difficulties with social interactions and some academic subjects. A sampling of what we love: * Multi-grade classroom that enables the teachers to work with children in small groups based on their skills. * Project-based lessons that incorporate math, reading, writing, science, visual arts, and music * Morning break with a snack * 45 to 60 minutes of recess each day * Time for imaginative play * Lots of reading time * Lessons to help the students appreciate the traditions and celebrations of a culturally diverse world through art, literature, music, and food * Parent-volunteer expertise to enhance the curriculum: music, art, yoga, Spanish, gardening, and reading Our experience with Chicago Friends School is that the teachers and board believe that a child's education should nurture academic excellence, personal integrity, and creativity.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 11, 2014

CFS is a warm and nurturing learning community! Project-based learning capitalizes on the students innate sense of curiosity; simultaneously refining math, reading, science and art skills. Everyday our son is so excited to share new facts and skills he has acquired at CFS. The multi-age class allows for differentiated learning while also providing a perfect stage for honing social skills. CFS parents are actively involved and share their talents through art projects, the Mystery Reader program, potlucks and more! The glue that holds it all together, though, is character development. Do I want my son to learn how to add and subtract? You bet! But, more importantly, I want my son to be KIND. I want him to know what it means to persevere, to understand the power of friendship and community, to learn the art of listening to the voice/light within, to see the good in every person and to choose what is right over what is easy. I am so glad that we found CFS! P.S. When searching for schools, we read plenty of online reviews. But we found visiting schools far more valuable than websites and reviews. YOU know your child best and only you can best gauge which school is right for your child.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 4, 2014

Chicago Friends School has been great for my daughter. She started off in CPS kindergarten in a classroom of 30 students and as an introvert she did not thrive. At Chicago Friends School, she's learned to be a real leader in her small classroom, her reading has really taken off and she's become very confident in her math. They go out for recess almost every day, and they've been learning about bees all year, which is a great project to integrate a lot of different types of learning with. The teachers seem to be very experienced and use different teaching methods to help the kids learn in a style that works for them; they are very patient teaching a wide variety of kids. We also love the way art and music are integrated with the curriculum. Our daughter does a lot more drawing than she used to and actually sings out loud, which she used to not like to do. Lastly, the school incorporates strong values so that the children are really learning how to build a strong community even if they're not all best friends they learn to respect each other and learn together. We are really happy with the way our daughter has grown and developed in just the two year's that she's been there.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 4, 2014

As a parent who endeavors to be conscientious and involved in my child s education and social/emotional growth, I am pleased to endorse the Chicago Friends School for their focus, attention, and commitment to my child as well as all the children in class. My son has attended the school since their inception one and half years ago, and I am thrilled as I observe his development on all levels. Not only am I excited about the Friends School, but I can attest to feelings of profound peace amidst the panic and anxiety so many Chicago parents experience in the quest for the best fit for their child s strengths, weaknesses and temperament.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 4, 2014

Academic excellence and a caring sense of community - We have found these at CFS. Our son is receiving the highest quality education, with small class sizes (1 teacher to 5 students) and personalized lessons. The academics at CFS are exceptional and challenging, yet not rigid or test-obsessed; the education is creative and sees the big picture. Last year, our son and the other students made their own lemonade stand, but this was no ordinary lemonade stand; they made a full business plan, marketing, etc. They chose a local charity to receive all the proceeds. The students also run their own organic garden. We see values at work. Each day, our son learns not just about numbers and words, but also about peace, equality, simplicity, integrity, community, and service. CFS is helping him grow as a whole person. We could not ask for better teachers. They are fantastic. They communicate regularly and proactively with us and are kind and supportive to our son and the other students. The board is professional and provides quality leadership. Moreover, the tuition is affordable, and the school community is diverse and inclusive. We highly recommend CFS.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 4, 2014

My son is in kindergarten at CFS this year & both he & I love it. After scoring highly on the CPS selective enrollment tests & not getting into any, & an overcrowded neighborhood school option, I looked into home schooling & numerous private schools. CFS impressed me then & continues to impress on a daily basis. The teachers are nurturing & experienced & truly practice differentiation and integrated learning. The mixed age class is great, since children separate into their level for math & reading, not their age group. (My son is reading chapter books.) The arts are involved in everything they do & I am impressed with the weekly formal music class. There is an HOUR recess every day, so the kids definitely have time to get their ya yas out. And there is a community garden which the children love! We are not Quaker, but I feel their teachings of integrity, equality, community, peace, simplicity, & service are universal. Parents are friendly, diverse, & involved (& I am highly sensitive to cliqueishness). Btw, the 2 negative posts are by the same family, as only 1 child has withdrawn this year. I am not on the board, just a happy parent, so please read them as outlier comments.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 4, 2014

My husband and I have been extremely happy with CFS. Chicago Friends School has a progressive, values based philosophy of education. I like that the values of peace, equality and community the school stresses support what we value at home. I have witnessed an increasing patience and openness in my son that I credit partly to his school experience. I also appreciate their integration of art, music, service and outdoor activities into a holistic educational experience. They study a theme like bees or the arctic and then use all of the disciplines to investigate that theme. My son is excited to go to school and eagerly tells me about what he learns. That did not happen in his preschool. Since CFS he has cared more about learning because he sees how things are connected and the relevance of different topics to his life and importantly, at CFS he knows he is supported and challenged.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 4, 2014

My daughter is in her second year at Chicago Friends School. As a Quaker family we are thrilled to be part of this school. I really like how the school week begins with a community meeting open to all family members. We reflect on Quaker values and share from our own experiences. It is a wonderful centering way to start the week. The school encourages learning through discovery. This year the students are engaged in a year-long study of bees. The study of bees is throughout all learning areas. The children care for the school garden, even in the summer. Last summer the school families met for weekly picnic suppers & worked together in the garden. This year the students are learning about which plants will attract bees, & these plants will be added to the garden in the Spring. The community that is growing at the school is vibrant and active. Parents serve in roles that suit their interests, from serving on the board, to teaching art, music, yoga, and Spanish in the classroom, to improving the school building, to doing outreach. The families are eager to build connections with other families in the school and often carpool, swap childcare & host playdates.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 31, 2013

Sadly, I have to caution all of you out there so that you and your child aren't disappointed. In their online and printed materials, the school makes a lot of promises that they can't keep - like differentiated teaching, a lot of recess, and a real openness to parental involvement in the classroom. I think they WANT to do these things, but the board of directors and the people they hire just don't deliver on them. Unfortunately, one or two of the parents bully other families, and the people at the school just turn a blind eye to that. Supposedly, Quakerism is based on tolerance and individuality, but if you have a kid who likes to be active and really wants to be engaged in the classroom, this is not the school for her.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 7, 2013

My husband and I couldn t be happier with the Chicago Friend s School. The small classroom size and the one on one personalized attention that our child receives has helped her blossom from a very shy child, to an outgoing confident girl. The teachers at the school really help foster such a wonderful sense of community with all the families. I and other parents are always made to feel welcome in the classroom, whether to share our experience about something, to read a story to the class, or just join in during lunch or playground time. I have never walked into the classroom and felt that I was an outsider, or that the ideas and suggestions we as parents bring are not welcome, on the contrary, it has been a blessing to work with the staff as partners in my child s education.
—Submitted by a parent

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1246 West Thorndale Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660
Website: Click here
Phone: (773) 442-2371


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